2018 Awards Nominees Helping to #GiveKidsaChance

May 25, 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Awards Nominees

This year Bright Promises Foundation received more nominations than ever for our Annual Awards, which recognize those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to low-income and at-risk children in a professional or volunteer capacity.

Nominations for the 2018 Awards were collected through a public online nomination process that took place in April. All nominations are now being reviewed by the Bright Promises Foundation Awards Committee, which includes leaders from the business, philanthropic, and child-serving communities.

This year's nominees represent diverse backgrounds and professional experiences. Nominees are serving children in a variety of capacities, ranging from early childhood education, mentoring, school and career readiness, trauma-informed care, literacy, and advocacy.

Bright Promises Foundation wants to acknowledge the important and impactful work being done by this year’s nominees, all of whom deserve recognition for their dedication to creating opportunities for children to reach their full promise and potential. Special thanks to all of the nominators who took the time to share the truly inspiring stories of this year’s nominees.


Stay Tuned and Save the Date 

The 2018 Award recipients will be announced during June. In the meantime, we invite you to save the date for the 2018 Awards celebration which will take place on Tuesday, September 25th from 5 :30p-7:30 at the University Club of Chicago.


Champion for Children Award Nominees  

(all nominees listed alphabetically by category)

Gloria E. Barrera, MSN, RN, PEL-CSN - Certified School Nurse & Nursing Professor

Mary Bonnett - Artistic Director, Her Story Theater

Judith S. Block - Board of Directors, Chicago Child Care Society

David Hirsch – Founder of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative

Derrek Hull - Executive Director and  Co-founder of The Trotter Project

LaTanya Johnson – Founder of LaTanya & the Youth of Englewood

Doug Mabie – Founder of Springboard Foundation

We love celebrating professionals & volunteers helping kids.

Lifetime Achievement Award Nominees

Bettye Cohns-  Executive Director, Reba Early Learning Center          

Marsha Eaglin – Founder & CEO, IMPACT Family Center

Della Ezell - Family Engagement Specialist, Youth Guidance

Louis Falk - Director of Child Care, Erie Neighborhood House

Dr. Denitra Griffin- Founder, Always Giving Back Foundation   

Cathy Krieger - President & CEO, Children's Place Association            

Josephine Lee – Artistic Director, The Chicago Children's Choir

Dr. Sara Naureckas - Director of Child & Adolescent Medicine, Erie Family Health

Meade Palidofsky - Founder and Artistic Director, Storycatchers Theatre       

Char Rivette - Executive Director, Chicago Children's Advocacy Center

Patricia Rivera – Executive Director, Chicago HOPES for Kids  

Nancy B. Ronquillo  - President & CEO, Children's Home & Aid

Sister Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F. - Executive Director, Maryville         

Dr. Dorene P. Wiese - President, American Indian Association of Illinois         

Jessica Yavitz - Executive Director, Chicago Fire Foundation

Thank to all of the unsung heroes who are helping our children to flourish and thrive!

Ed Marciniak Bright Star Award Nominees

Veronica Appleton - Adjunct Professor, DePaul University

Maria Degillo. - Youth Director, Communities United   

Marco Dodd - Assistant Director, Kidz Express

Shanté Elliott – Founder, TasselTurn

Jesse Ilhardt – Co-Founder & Vice President of Programs, VOCEL        

Calvin King - Executive Director, Free Lunch Academy 

Danielle Parker - Chief of Staff,  The Chicago Urban League

Rachel Serra - Literacy Coordinator, Erie Neighborhood House

Skyler Schrempp - Artistic Director, The Viola Project

Deana R. Spencer - Director of Early Learning, Holy Family Ministries

Laura Boyer Straka - Lead Therapist & Early Intervention Specialist, Child's Voice     

May Tsupros – Co-Founder &  Executive Director, Gardeneers

Veronica Vyazovsky - Executive Director, Mosaic Therapy